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April 2021

SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER

Published Monthly except July and August

www.narfespokane.org

21 – 04 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees April 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson

Spring is in the air as we survived another winter and our first year of COVID-19. I reported in February that 7% of Spokane County’s population had been vaccinated. As of this writing, 13% have been fully vaccinated and 21% have received at least one jab in the arm. Yours truly is among them. I look forward to the day when we can return to Darcy’s for our regular lunch meetings.

Many people have experienced slower than expected deliveries with the US Postal Service. The dedicated work of postal employees is not to blame, but rather recent policies enacted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. He was appointed by a Board of Governors during the previous administration but cannot be terminated with three vacancies on the board. President Biden recently nominated three candidates to fill these vacancies. Perhaps, change for the better will come to the Postal Service. Our guest speaker in May will talk about Postal Service reform.

NARFE is preparing for its Centennial celebration (June 21) and Legislative Training Conference (aka LEGcon21, June 21-23). LEGcon21 promises to be an exciting event with training on how best to advocate for your benefits, with an emphasis on setting up virtual meetings with our legislators. The Centennial celebration will offer memorable speeches and presentations honoring our 100 years of service to the federal community. Registration for both events will open in early April.

Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at scottsoriole@q.com if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32.

DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

Due to the present health situation all Meetings are virtual until further notice.


ZOOM:

To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either:

Call: 1 – 253 – 215 - 8782

Meeting ID: 869 6851 3284, Passcode: 142288


Or you CLICK ON THIS LINK.



NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky

You can contribute to NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine or by sending a check, made out to NARFE-PAC to our post office box. The address is: NARFE, PO Box 4592, Spokane, WA 99220.


The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits/retirement. We are speaking to all members not just those retired.

LEGISLATION Roger Bosky

As more and more federal employees return to their regular workplaces, I offer my sincere appreciation for their dedications, especially those on the front lines. With COVID-19 still rampant, there are many safety challenges. Whenever we come in contact with these employees we should give them a well-deserved “thank you”.

Once again Congress has introduced a bill to repeal the Wind Fall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). Already, it has garnered 111 bipartisan sponsors. Last year it had over 250 sponsors.

Almost 2 million beneficiaries get their Social Security benefits reduced because they worked less than 30 years under Social Security and also held a non-Social Security Administration covered job at some point in their careers. The GPO and WEP unfairly discriminates against people who have worked in both government and non-government jobs. This bill needs to get passed. Please call our representative. We have 4 known chapter members losing benefits.

Another long overdue bill is the Federal Adjustment of Income Rate (FAIR) Act. This bill would provide an average 3.2% coverage pay raise for federal employees. Let’s remember those several years when employees got no raises and had to pay more for their retirements. The raise would allow the U.S. to compete more readily with private employees. Support federal employees by telling Congresspeople of this need.

PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch

Our NARFE program for March featured Tom Clark, Darin Watkins, and Tom McArthur from the Spokane Association of Realtors. It was a fascinating overview of the housing crisis in Spokane. Some interesting facts: Spokane is short 30,000 houses for potential buyers, 57% of adult children under 30 live at home due to difficulty finding homes or rentals, Spokane and Scottsdale, AZ are top desired spots for folks looking to relocate. The Spokane market is especially depleted in homes and condos under $250,000. The cost of lumber, permitting, strict zoning, and new energy codes have contributed to rising home costs.

April’s speaker will be Joel Loiacono, Regional Director of Eastern WA & Northern Idaho Alzheimer’s Association. He’ll be talking about “The Ten Warning Signs” of Alzheimer’s.

May’s speaker will be Gordon Williams, Postmaster & President of WA Chapter of United Postmasters & Managers of America. He will be addressing the continuing saga of postal reform. Thanks, Louise Soles, for arranging for Gordon to join us.

VICE